By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Insider
With a controlled scrimmage and a top priority of "just staying healthy," Baylor head coach Art Briles said it was "really hard for people to highlight" during Friday's 65-minute closed scrimmage at Floyd Casey Stadium.
But it didn't keep the junior duo of quarterback Bryce Petty and running back Lache Seastrunk from showing off a little in the final tune-up before next Saturday's 6:30 p.m. season opener against Wofford.
Petty wrapped up a strong fall camp by completing 16-of-22 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while Seastrunk tallied 83 yards on just 11 carries and scored on TD runs of nine and 37 yards.
"We're still a work in progress. We're never going to be satisfied," Seastrunk said. "I was just trying to do my job for my line, to let them know that they're doing their job."
With Petty and Seastrunk both clicking, the first-team offense scored touchdowns on five of its six series. Redshirt freshman Shock Linwood opened the scoring with a 16-yard run, followed by a 20-yard TD strike from Petty to Antwan Goodley, who returned from a pulled groin injury to post a team-high four catches for 75 yards.
"You've got to be full force to be outstanding," said Briles, who also got receiver Clay Fuller (sprained ankle) and freshman defensive tackle Andrew Billings (broken nose) back on the field. "Those guys have worked hard and got where they are as potential starters and starters by making plays. So, you need your playmakers on the field when it's game time."
The second-team offense, led by redshirt freshman quarterback Seth Russell, did strike for a pair of scores. Russell hit Lynx Hawthorne in stride for a 65-yard TD pass, and then Devin Chafin scored on a 15-yard run en route to picking up 43 yards on just seven totes.
After three weeks of the preseason camp, junior receiver Levi Norwood said the Bears are "ready to see somebody else."
"We're definitely ready," said Norwood, who hauled in three catches for 29 yards. "We've been playing against each other for I don't know how many weeks. . . . We're ready to get on this field next week against Wofford."
Sophomore defensive tackle Trevor Clemons-Valdez had a sack and three tackles to lead another salty performance by the first-team defense. Safety Terrell Burt posted a scrimmage-high five tackles, while linebacker Kendall Ehrlich and defensive end Chris McAllister both had four stops.
"Their coach is talking about changing it up this year, but they're a real tough offense and like to run the ball," Clemons-Valdez said of Wofford, which ran the ball for 4,546 yards last season while attempting just 88 passes, "so that's good for the d-line."
Although it "probably took a little bit of the intensity out of them," Briles said he emphasized to the team how important it was to stay healthy going into game-week preparation.
"I feel like, as a staff, we've done what we should have done right now," Briles said. "We've got everybody healthy and ready to go next week. Now it's up to them and up to us to make sure they're in the right position to help us win next week. . . . Anytime you have that many bodies moving around, there's always something that could happen. It's a blessing we are where we are, and now we've got to take advantage of it and get our first win against Wofford."
Russell was 4-of-7 for 105 yards passing, while Chris Johnson and Andrew Frerking were a combined 4-of-5 for 82 yards and one TD with the third-team offense. Linwood averaged 13 yards on just five attempts (5-65), with redshirt freshman Corey Coleman hauling in three passes for 63 yards and capping the scoring with a 44-yard toss from Petty.
The Bears will begin game-week preparation on Monday and kick off the final season at Floyd Casey with the 6:30 p.m. opener against Wofford next Saturday, Aug. 31. For single-game and season tickets, call the Baylor Athletics ticket office at 254-710-1000 or go online at www.baylorbears.com/tickets.
"It gave me goose bumps just talking about it," Clemons-Valdez said. "It's game time. We're ready to go."
|| SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Shock Linwood 16 rush (Aaron Jones kick)
Antwan Goodley 20 pass from Bryce Petty (Aaron Jones kick)
Lynx Hawthorne 65 pass from Seth Russell (no PAT attempt)
Andy Ritter 54 pass from Andrew Frerking (no PAT attempt)
Lache Seastrunk 9 run (Aaron Jones kick)
Devin Chafin 15 run (no PAT attempt)
Lache Seastrunk 37 run (no PAT attempt)
Corey Coleman 44 pass from Bryce Petty (no PAT attempt)
Bryce Petty 16-22-209-2-0; Seth Russell 4-7-105-1-0; Andrew Frerking 2-2-57-1-0; Chris Johnson 2-3-25-0-0.
Lache Seastrunk 11-83 2TD, Shock Linwood 5-65 TD; Devin Chafin 7-43 TD; Johnny Jefferson 5-20; Silas Nacita 2-7; Bryce Petty 2-(-1); Chris Johnson 1- (-6); Seth Russell 5-(-12).
Antwan Goodley 4-75 TD; Lynx Hawthorne 1-65 TD; Corey Coleman 3-63 TD; Andy Ritter 2-57 TD; Darius Jones 1-31; Levi Norwood 3-29; Gus Penning 1-18; Clay Fuller 1-16; Robbie Rhodes 2-12; Cal Spangler 2-11; Tevin Reese 2-8; Lache Seastrunk 1-7; Jay Lee 1-4.
Terrell Burt 1-4-5; Kendall Ehrlich 2-2-4; Chris McAllister 3-1-4; Xavien Howard 3-0-3; Kevin Mitchell 3-0-3; Trevor Clemons-Valdez 2-1-3; Brian Nance 2-1-3; Bryce Hager 1-2-3; Eddie Lackey 1-2-3; Taion Sells 3-0-3; Sam Ukwuachu 2-0-2; Aiavion Edwards 0-2-2; Price Kent 1-1-2; Orion Stewart 1-1-2; Anthony Webb 1-1-2; Zorrell Ezell 1-1-2; Ahmad Dixon 1-1-2; Tanner Thrift 2-0-2; Terrance Lloyd 2-0-2; Sam Holl 0-2-2; Suleiman Masumbuko 1-0-1; Jamal Palmer 1-0-1; Kevin Mitchell 1-0-1; Terrence Singleton 0-1-1; Lee Bristow 0-1-1; Beau Blackshear 0-1-1; Demetri Goodson 0-1-1; Brody Trahan 0-1-1.
Trevor Clemons-Valdez 1.0; Sam Ukwuachu 1.0; Brian Nance 1.0; Eddie Lackey 0.5; Chris McAllister 0.5.
TACKLES FOR LOSS:
Brian Nance 2.0; Suleiman Masumbuko 1.0; Sam Ukwuachu 1.0;
Beau Blackshear 0.5; Demetri Goodson 0.5; Eddie Lackey 0.5; Chris McAllister 0.5.
DEFLECTIONS / PASSES DEFENDED:
Joe Williams 2; Xavien Howard 1.
Spencer Roth 4-195-48.8 avg
|| POST-SCRIMMAGE QUOTES
"Number one thing is just staying healthy. That is what we told them before the scrimmage and it probably took a little bit of intensity out of it. At the same time, we had a good walk through yesterday morning. When I saw that I thought, hey our guys are ready. We just have to get them to the game. As a staff we have done what we should have done right now and that is getting everybody ready to go for next week healthy. It is up to them and up to us to put them in a position to win next week."
On the defensive improvements:
"They are good. They finished up strong last year and had a great spring and a great camp. Those guys are ready to play. Those guys have a lot of starts under their belts and three years under Bennett's system. They are doing a good job and know what they are doing. We are anxious to get them on the field and turn them loose."
On the offense:
"You have to know what you are doing before you do it. From an offensive standpoint there can be no surprises. As long as our awareness stays up we will be fine. It is time to put up or shut up I guess. It is time to start playing."
On his role in preseason scrimmages:
"I am just trying to do my job for the line to let them know that they are doing their job. We are still a work in progress. We are never going to be satisfied, because there is always room for improvement and we are going to continue to get better."
On the preparation through the first game week of the season:
"I think as Monday and Tuesday come we will be more comfortable. We just need to keep progressing and keep our tempo up."
On playing in Floyd Casey Stadium:
"As linemen we are back on the back turf patch every day, but out here it is a little different. It is a much different atmosphere and we don't get a real good river breeze over here so it is a little warm, but it was a good day. We ran out of that tunnel today and there was no smoke and no fans, but you still get the goose bumps running out. It is a really awesome feeling and it is really great to be this close again."
On the preparation for the opening game against Wofford:
"I feel like we are doing great. We are preparing for Wofford real hard. They are a really versatile offense. They run a lot of different run plays. They don't throw the ball too much, but their coach is talking about changing things up this year. They are a real tough offense who likes to run the ball, so it will be a big day for the defensive line."